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Postgraduate Certificate in Education - PGCE - Primary

This course has been designed in partnership with local primary schools to meet the requirements for Postgraduate Teacher Education.

The course will prepare you to teach across the primary age range and in all National Curriculum subjects. You will be equipped to meet the Professional Standards for the Award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) upon successful completion of the course. Before commencing, you will decide whether you wish to focus on teaching Early Years (3 to 7), or Primary (5 to 11) or the Maths specialist pathway (3-11) within the PGCE programme.

This course includes a significant Professional Pedagogy and Management element which covers the role of the professional teacher, the child as learner and wider issues associated with school and society. You will develop an advanced understanding of child development and classroom relationships, as well as the skills in classroom organisation, behaviour management, assessment, recording and reporting that are essential to effective teaching.

Core subject modules will prepare you to teach English, Mathematics and Science in Key Stages One and Two, and, especially in the case of Advanced Early Years students, in nursery and reception classes. Foundation subjects and Religious Education are also covered.

School experience is a substantial and integral part of the course from the first term, through both serial and block practice, with further experience in Terms Two and Three. In total, of the 38 weeks of the course, 24 will be spent in schools. There are opportunities to undertake placements in a SEN school.

Inclusive Education
Throughout the course there is an emphasis on inclusive education, with particular reference to managing behaviour and special needs (SEND). You will also have the opportunity to further your knowledge, understanding and skills in an area of primary education through a Masters level extended study from a chosen option range of curriculum areas.

Specialism subjects offered include all the National Curriculum subjects as well as Languages, ICT, RE, Special Educational Needs and Disability, Advanced Early Years and Outdoor Learning. Candidates apply for the course selecting which of these they would like to develop as their specialism, based on their qualifications and/or experience. You will have the opportunity to spend time as part of your 24 weeks researching your primary subject specialist area and understanding of subject leading.

You will be involved in assessing your teaching skills and competence as they develop through the use of a Professional Development Profile to which teachers and tutors will also contribute.

At the end of the course you will be advised about your first year in teaching through the University of Worcester Career Entry Profile, as part of your Continuing Professional Development.

Masters Credits
All students register for 60 credits at Masters level and thereby achieve the Postgraduate Certificate in Education.

All programmes subject government funding or requirements are subject to government changes.



Course Fees 2015-2016 - £9,000

Provisional term dates for PGCE Primary 2015-16 (subject to change):

Induction Day: July 2015 (dates to be confirmed)

Term 1: 7/9/14 – 18/12/14
Term 2: 4/1/16 – 25/3/16
Term 3: 11/4/16 – 8/4/16

Financial incentives for those who train in 2015/16

Please see:

Entry requirements

Prior to entry, students must have as a minimum an honours degree (2:2) or equivalent

Grade C in GCSE or equivalent in English, Mathematics and Science. These GCSE (or equivalent) qualifications should have been obtained at the time of application

Successful completion of the National College for Teaching and Learning Professional Skills test for Literacy and Numeracy.

You will need to have evidence of some recent work experience in a primary school or nursery setting before applying for the course, ideally 5-10 days’ practice in a primary, Foundation or Nursery setting (within the last year).

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed.

All Trainee Teachers are required to satisfactorily complete a medical questionnaire to demonstrate their fitness to teach, to obtain a Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced disclosure and to register with the General Teaching Council for England.

If your qualifications are not listed, please contact the Admissions Office for advice.

Applications for full-time PGCE Primary should be made via the UCAS Teacher Training website.

Study options

The PGCE Primary course is based on modules in school, and taught sessions in University.

Get in touch

The PGCE Primary course offers a combination of University and school-based modules. Get in touch:

Admissions Office: 
For general enquiries pertaining to University admissions 
01905 855111

Admissions Tutor: Steph Suter
For enquiries pertaining to course admissions 
01905 542563

PGCE Primary Course Leader: Genea Alexander
For course-specific enquiries

01905 542561



There is a high employment rate for Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) from the course. Upon successful completion of the PGCE course, you take with you a Career Entry and Development Profile to start the process of your continuing professional development as a teacher. Ofsted 2010 recognised the ‘highly effective personalisation of training linked closely with strong pastoral support that results in the majority of trainees making outstanding progress.’

Course content


Modules within this course are linked to those of the National Curriculum for England and Wales. You will also undertake modules on pedagogy and management.

Much of your timetable will be spent in schools working alongside your experienced mentor.

The PGCE is a 38 week taught programmes consisting of 14 weeks of taught university modules and 24 weeks of school led practical professional development experience in school and settings. There are 6 modules in total:

PG PM 4001
Pedagogy and Management 1 (PAM 1)
20 Masters credits - theory and practice of teaching and learning - 3000 assignment

PGCR 3001
Core subjects and ICT – taught programme, directed studies and professional enquiry tasks

PG PM 4002
Pedagogy and Management 2 (PAM2)
20 Masters credits - theory and practice of teaching and learning - 4000 word 3 part portfolio

PGFS 3004
Foundation subjects, SEND and Languages - taught programme, directed studies and professional enquiry tasks

PGPS 4003
Primary Subject Specialism (PSS)
20 Masters credits - 3000 word School based research project

School Experience - assesses practice against the Teaching Agency standards through observation , completion of Professional Enquiry Tasks and Professional Development Portfolio (PDP)


You will learn how to

  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of how children learn and develop in classroom settings
  • Manage different patterns of organisation and styles of teaching to best support effective , creative learning and provide equality of opportunity for all children
  • Develop an understanding of Special Educational l Needs and Disability  through the application of inclusive teaching practices
  • Develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and teaching competences which will enable you to observe, plan, teach, organise and assess children’s progress and learning across the full range of the Primary and Early Years curriculum subjects
  • Plan and manage the children’s learning, and begin to work in co-operation with other professionals, parents and each other, in order to ensure quality teaching and learning experiences and realistic outcomes for all children
  • Develop a clear framework of your  own professional values and demonstrate a critical and reflective attitude towards your  practice, showing an articulation of the interdependent relationship of practice and theory
  • Build on your Undergraduate research skills to become  a trainee researcher by undertaking a small scale school based research project in your Primary Subject Specials

Key features of this course

  • Excellent employability rates
  • Additional qualifications and training e.g. Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOPs) training
  • Excellent research informed teaching
  • 60 theory into practice Masters’ Credits
  • National Leaders in Special and Inclusive Education
  • Highly personalised levels of academic and pastoral support
  • High quality, carefully chosen partnership schools
  • A stimulating and relevant curriculum that responds to change
  • Outstanding peer support between trainees
  • A Primary Subject Specialism led by research intensive subject tutors



You will be involved in assessing your teaching skills and competence as they develop through the use of a Professional Development Profile to which students, teachers and tutors contribute.

At the end of your course you will be advised about your first year in teaching through the Career Entry and Development Profile, as part of your Continuing Professional Development.


Teaching approach

  • Tutor-led workshops, lectures, fieldwork and guest lectures , primarily to introduce underpinning knowledge, theoretical argument, practical skills, central issues, key texts and inter-professional fields of study;
  • Study of key texts and supplementary reading to enable students to identify subject matter that will enhance their understanding and intellectual ability;
  • Participation in high level professional discussion , peer presentations and debate, to encourage trainees to actively engage with and critically challenge the field
  • Directed studies, Professional Enquiry Tasks, case studies and problem solving tasks to provide opportunities to develop approaches that will deepen levels of understanding and professional judgement, including multi-agency approaches; development of practice-based competence and skills of critical reflection through guided individual mentoring during placements.
  • 1:1 academic and personal tutorial support including access to our first class Firstpoint services
Trainee views

Faye Rogerson

"I studied Early Childhood Studies at the University of Worcester and already had a good job as a nursery nurse, but I wanted to teach children aged 3-7. The PGCE course was great, my favourite module was PE. I am not at all a sporty person, but the module was so much fun and it gave me confidence to teach sports to children."

Academic department

Institute of Education

“Our high quality programmes and innovative teaching methods prepare and train the very best professionals. Worcester graduates have made a huge difference in the field of education.”
Ann Jordan, Head of Institute

Skills test

Skills test

All trainees are required to take the numeracy and literacy skills tests as part of the application process, and ensure you have passed them both before the start of the course.

The first attempt at taking your skills tests in each subject is provided free of charge. You can book up to two resits if required, but you will be expected to pay for these yourself. The charge is £19.25 per test. The pass mark for the tests is 63%. Please note that after your third attempt you cannot take for 24 months. Once you have passed the skills tests they are valid for two years.

You can book your tests up to three months in advance for a date by which you are expecting to have submitted an application. When you take the tests you will need to provide proof that you have applied for a teacher training course. We will only interview people who can provide proof that they have booked the skills tests. If you attend interview before passing the tests you will be given a conditional offer. You will have two months after your interview date to take and pass the tests. We do however advise that you try and take before your interview date or as soon after your interview as possible as this will be enable us to make a firm offer.

We strongly advise that you book and take your tests as soon as possible and make sure you do the on line practice tests before you take the tests.

The tests are held at a Pearson Professional Test Centre (which also delivers Driving Theory tests, so you may be familiar with them already).

For more information see



OFSTED Comments

Following our very successful Ofsted inspection (March 2014) here are some headlines from the report …

“Trainees have access to excellent resources and facilities”

“Trainees are prepared well to teach the curriculum, including the new national curriculum to be introduced in September 2014”

“The opportunities to specialise in subjects, such as mathematics, are helping trainees to become experts in their fields”

“University based training, including that for special educational needs and sports is of high quality”

“Trainees understand and promote inclusion well which, in turn, is enabling them to overcome barriers to pupils’ learning and physical development”

“Trainees rightly value the expertise of the well-qualified university tutors and of visiting speakers”

“Trainees also benefit from university based training that has research at its heart, putting theory into practice in practical ways”

“Strong mentoring exists within the primary phase”

“Trainee’s high completion and employment rates”

“The continuing strong reputation the partnership has in the region for developing different routes into teaching and supporting school improvement”

“Trainees benefit from a good range of placements in different contexts, including large and small schools in rural and urban areas”

“….. Trainees get a good deal from the partnership. This is reflected in the confidence schools have in it to develop good teachers”

“Partnership leaders visions for excellence is strong”